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Publishers Can’t Be Trusted In A Digital-Only Future Yet

Digital Distribution is the future. Had you asked me whether I believed this or not a few months ago, I would’ve promptly put up my nose and said with exuberance “why yes, of course. We can trust these massive corporations to keep our best interests at heart and not eventually bleed us for every cent they can. Oh most certainly not”. Well, I’m not someone who is used to being wrong, but I can’t deny that we, as a gaming community, are not ready for the digital age. Not because of infrastructure. Not because of convenience.

Purely because in order for a digital future to become a reality, we have to put out trust into the massive companies that keep us entertainment happy year in and year out. And you know what? They can’t be trusted.

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Razputin1197d ago

This has always been my fear and why I will probably never buy a console again.

With Steam I have all my games backed up. And that's 1000+ games.

johndoe112111197d ago

Your comment makes little sense. Did you read the article? At the end of the day, nothing beats discs. That is what the author is trying to show you. Steam is 100% digital and at the end of the day you never completely own digital games.

The only way steam can be comparable is by backing up you games to DVD's or blurays. A lot of people don't, they just back them up to hard drives. Hard drives fail, they get corrupted, they are susceptible to viruses, they are VERY risky. And if at the end of the day you decide to back up your games to discs, then why criticize or look down on consoles in the first place?

medman1197d ago

^^^^^
What this guy said.

Razputin1197d ago

Maybe I should have elaborated more.

Digital isn't the future, it's the now. Pretty much what the article is trying to hint at.

I try to buy all my games on disk but they are far and between. My point is at least with Steam I can make backups of my games.

You understand?

Clown_Syndr0me1197d ago

When console gaming goes 100% digital, I will stop gaming.
I buy mainly used games and also make a tidy profit dealing used games on eBay.
Also, I want to own my games. The ones I like, I keep. Without fear of servers closing, subscriptions ending or anything else out of my control. I will still have access to these titles in 10-15 years.
Will you all still have access to your digital titles? Hopefully but there really is no saying yet.

incendy351197d ago

I am of the opinion that a user can never own an experience, unless they created it or bought the rights to publish that experience. It's a tricky subject because of course we want to own what we buy and we think because we have something physical like a disk that it means it is ours. That isn't actually correct though, the disk alone does nothing beside make a very poor Frisbee :D.

The developer/publisher isn't selling you their code, they are selling you the right to experience it. DRM in its simplest form is made to protect this basic right that the real owner of the code has "the publisher".

Regardless of how the code is stored: disk, cloud, flash drive etc it still is the property of the publisher and the user only bought the right to experience it.

The issue, as pointed out by this article is that companies can abuse the power of DRM to try to push other services such as PS+. However, there is technically nothing stopping them from doing that with disks either. Anyone can put code in their game that can force authentication regardless of whether it is stored on disk, servers etc. All video games are ""digital"" ;.

kalkano1197d ago

We don't have access to their code. We have access to the resulting binaries that give us the experience. And, we pay them for the right to experience that FOREVER, WHENEVER WE WANT. <- That right cannot be dependant on a server somewhere else still existing.

incendy351197d ago

The publisher creates the terms of the sale. I can see how we would want that to be in the contract, however I have never seen that clause. Publisher retains the rights in every clause I have ever read. We are only buying the right to experience the code. They could make the games only work from 2am until 3am every day and we would have no say in that except not buying it.

Or we could make our own games, that we can do with as we please : )

kalkano1197d ago

Where are the terms listed for a physical copy? I didn't sign anything. It's just what happens when you buy something. You own it.

That's all I'm saying. You "buy" a physical copy. But, you can't "buy" a digital copy.

The_KELRaTH1197d ago

I understand your point but there's another area where the online only purchase can be an issue and that's when you've purchased something, deleted it for whatever reason, then can't re-download at some point.

This was brought home to me just recently when I had to reset my Window Phone. I followed all the backup and restore procedures but it turns out you can only backup a list of your apps rather than the apps themselves.
The problem then was either apps were no longer published or no longer available yet I could purchase again and so forth.
Had I had a real backup or owned a hardcopy this just wouldn't be an issue.
i.e.(right is my purchase history list)
http://www.6502c.com/Window...

Gamer6661197d ago

I find it incredible that the same people that complain about digital distribution are almost all streaming or buying all their music videos digitally today.

This ship sailed long ago in music, movies, and TV. Its sailing now for games. Look at the PS4... Over 50% of the game titles available cannot be bought at a store.

One thing I strongly disagree with is Sony's policy that you have to be a PSN+ member to retain your "free" games. And it is looking like DriveClub is the same. All I have to say to that... Steam and XBox let you have the game forever regardless of subscriptions. Consumers have a choice.

johndoe112111197d ago (Edited 1197d ago )

"One thing I strongly disagree with is Sony's policy that you have to be a PSN+ member to retain your "free" games".

And yet i'm sure you have absolutely no issues with netflix or hulu doing this even though it's the same exact model except it's for movies.

Secondly, you cannot compare this to movies and music. You can buy digital music for 99 cents or a new digital movie for 15 bucks. A digital game costs sixty-freaking-dollars, some of them even more if you want to get special versions.

Even though I will never go totally digital (the day gaming goes totally digital, i'm done), if you want to entice me to take a more digital approach then give me the games at music and movie digital prices.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, should be encouraging these companies to go totally digital. That's the day we all loose our rights as customers.

Gamer6661197d ago (Edited 1197d ago )

I do not subscribe to Hulu, Netflix or any of the streaming TV/Movie services where I do not get to the content license. The only reason I subscribe to PSN+ is to ensure I get all the PSN network services, not the free games.

Secondly, whether it is 99 cents, 15 bucks or whatever, is irrelevant to me. What is important is owning a license to use the content for perpetuity.

I laugh when people say game prices should drop. Have you seen how many publishers and development shops have went bankrupt this past generation? Prices cannot drop until the industry is stable and can support itself.

I like it when people talk about consumer "rights". There really is no such thing. Companies will do whatever they can get away with to make money. The balancing factor is consumers willingness to purchase. That is the only rights consumers have. Companies won't cross the line, because they know consumers will stop purchasing. Companies will only try to get as close to that line as they can. And if there is widespread abuse the governments will step up and add laws to help. But, in reality there is no such thing as consumer rights.